Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tessa Naidu-Rising Mauritian Star

Name: Tessa Jennifer Naidu
DOB: 09/12/1977
Place of Birth: Glasgow, Scotland
Parents: Mary Rose Milate (Castel) and René Marcel Naidu (Port Louis)
Grandparents: Roger and Rita Milate & Samuel and Helena Naidu

Mary Milate and René Naidu met and married in Glasgow, Scotland where they had both gone to from Mauritius to study nursing.

Tessa was born in 1977 in Glasgow, but soon after, the family moved to the north of England where Tessa lived till she was 8 years old. The Naidu family emigrated to Adelaide in 1986 and then moved to Melbourne in 1998 where they settled in Wantirna South. Tessa has a younger brother Vince-Lee who was born in Adelaide and is now 18.

Tessa has always loved singing since a young age. Her first memory of singing, was along to songs from “Top of the Pops’ which would drive her parents mad. It was during her time in the choir at her Adelaide secondary school that Tessa developed her singing skills and had a chance to take part in recording in a real studio. Tessa’s music teacher used to tell her that she had a great ear for music and despite not being professionally trained in reading or writing music Tessa was able to memorise pieces of music on keyboard, guitar and drums.

Tessa enjoys a wide range of music and attributes this to her father, René’s influence who encouraged her from a young age to appreciate all types of music – from R’n’B to Soul, alternative, world, dance, rock and of course sega.

Tessa’s first memories of sega are dancing and singing for whole weekends at friends’ houses in England. Tessa says her first memory is dancing to Viré Mama. Tessa says that her favourite kind of sega is the raw, typique sega – “the kind that you sing by the beach or on a bus picnic with family and friends” she notes. And each time Tessa visits Mauritius – seven times since she was 3, she has a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Her mother is one of 10 brothers and sisters and her father one of 7. Tessa remarks “there are so many cousins, it’s great!”

Tessa says that she first picked up the créole language on her first trip to Mauritius at the age of 3. “ I picked up the swear words first, but then when I came home to England I spoke only créole – when we got back to England, mum had to keep me at home to re-learn English!” This has helped Tessa to be fluent in the créole language, which in turn provides that a Glasgow-born, English-raised Australian can sing sega so well!

“People are often amazed that I am able to sing sega, but particularly that I can sing and speak in créole. People often tell me that I sing in the raw style of Nancy Derogère – but on the new album my voice style is different and people are surprised,” Tessa says.

Tessa notes that she was so pleased to have the opportunity to take part in Christian Calou’s latest album “Dialsa Kréole”. Tessa has 2 main songs on the album “Zozo Malheur” and “Voyage Forcé”, but also sings back-up on a number of other tracks. Tessa says that her favourite song to sing was “Zozo Malheur” and that she really enjoyed recording in Cassiya’s studio – a group who she has always idolised. Tessa also enjoyed the time spent in Mauritius in 2004, despite the hectic schedule of doing radio and newspaper interviews – she had the chance to work with and meet great Mauritian artists such as Désiré Saramandif, Sandra Mayotte, José Pitchen, Kathy Martin and the group Kazamik.

Tessa is starting to sit down and write her own songs, with the help of her partner of 3 years Dylan Reed. Tessa says that she appreciates that the person who has most supported her singing has been Dylan, who plays both piano/keyboard and clarinet and is helping Tessa to work on the theory side of putting the music/songs together that she is writing.


  1. santu naidu11:03 PM

    hi tessa naidu...its really great to listen about u...that our naidu's somwhere frm mauritius...n at present rising star in australia...really iam proud my friend stay in touch...its santu naidu frm india........

  2. stay in touch friend...keep updating ur things to me...pls take care..tessa..santu naidu here...

  3. Hi Tessa,

    it sounds like we have a couple of things in common.

    I was born in Kilmarnock & raised in Cumnock. I emigrated to Tasmania with my family in 1979. I've been a State Registered Nurse for 22 years.

    During this time I've also been a fairly successful musician. I only returned to the music industry last year after 7 years away from it due to alcohol abuse & am rating rather well on numerous charts world-wide.

    My cousin, also Scots, lives in Mauritius with her husband who was born there. They met whilst nursing in Scotland.

    What a small world.

    Is there anywhere that I can buy or listen to your music?

    Bob :)

  4. maureen mcenroe3:30 AM

    Hi Tessa, hoping to download some of your music in near future! I have a question for your parents - did they know a Mauritian woman named Jeanette who was a nurse in Glasgow hospital at the same time they lived in Glasgow? I believe she was a great friend of my father James McEnroe and that they had a child together in the mid-'70's. I am trying to trace him/her as part of my family tree!!
    much good health and luck is wished to you Tessa.x

  5. Anonymous12:15 AM

    Hi Tessa,
    You are a great artist hope to meet you in person because am planning to spend my holiday in Mauritius this December. Thanks

  6. Ashvin4:51 PM

    heyy is ur dad a registered nurse??

    i worked with a rene naidu in maroondah hospital in the psych ward

  7. Hi Cousin,

    Proud to see u climbing in your life. Keep it up. wait for u to sing for us when back motherland

    Eric Némorin